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EU transport ministers back lower emissions for shipping sector

13 Mar 2020

European Union (EU) transport ministers on Wednesday (11 March) agreed at an informal meeting of the bloc’s maritime chiefs in Croatia, that greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector needs to be reduced significantly, reports independent EU specialist media network Euractiv.

Ministers gathered to sign a declaration that targets “a carbon-neutral and zero pollution waterborne transport sector” in the EU.

One notable aspect is the declaration insists any decarbonisation efforts must be made ‘flag neutral’ – meaning whatever policy that the EU adopts (be it Emissions Trading System (ETS) inclusion or Carbon dioxide (CO2) engine standards) will apply to all ships sailing in EU waters, not just EU-registered ships.

The issue of curbing the usage of fossil fuel in shipping was also addressed by European Parliament transport committee chair Karima Delli.

“We must set up zero-emission ports, and we must end tax incentives for heavy fuel oil,” she said.

The declaration recognised the Commission’s recent proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, a EUR 100 (USD 112 billion) billion package that is designed to help EU regions dump fossil fuels and replace jobs lost in carbon-intensive sectors.

The two main ports in Malta (Valletta and Marsaxlokk) have been recognised as potential candidates eligible to receive funding. 

“In view of reducing emissions by the docking ships and keeping the competitiveness of Maltese ports, it is necessary to provide an alternative to the burning of heavy fuel/gasoil in these ports by providing the ships with power supply,” concludes the EU executive’s report.

Photo credit: Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Published: 13 March, 2020.

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